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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 01-16-07, 05:50 PM   #1
mingonn
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Touring/Road handle bars? Whats your preference?

Up to handle bars in my Dahon project and was just wondering what everyones preference for bars is. I use my dahon primarily for commuting about 20km each way but have started doing some bigger weekend rides and am working up to a 230 km challenge later this year.

Just have the standard dahon flat bar at the moment.

Bar ends?
Road Bars?
Bull horns?

Road bars seem to be narrower than flat bars from what I have read (around 440mm) where as my Dahon's measure 560mm.

Folding is not a huge issue for me, I am quite happy unbolting the bars for the times where I need to put it in the boot.

Pictures would be great

Last edited by mingonn; 01-16-07 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 01-16-07, 08:44 PM   #2
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Anyone have any experience with dahons tt offering?

http://www.dahon.com/components/xp/prott.htm
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Old 01-16-07, 09:01 PM   #3
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You don't say what model you have, but assuming you don't have biologic geometry, you could do something like this:
http://bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p...8&postcount=22

I followed CRM's lead, but I have an adjustable handlepost - he didn't.

Folding is not really an issue. Road bars make the folded package a little taller, but not really wider. Then again, I use narrow road bars (38cm).
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Old 01-16-07, 10:14 PM   #4
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I have Cane Creek bull horns on my Dahon Speed 7.

http://www.canecreek.com/ergo_control_ii.html

I have to angle them just right so the folding feature (which is important to me) isn't compromised. As a result they are not at the ideal angle for riding, but they still give me another option for hand placement and I like them.
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Old 01-16-07, 11:41 PM   #5
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Bar ends would have to be the simplest and cheapest option. With the adjustable stem height I can get down pretty low, I did a bit of testing on the veledrome near by over the weekend and lowering the handlebars makes a noticable difference to my average speed (around 1-2 km/h) depending on the height. It gets pretty uncomfortable with just the flat bars though.

spambait, how do you find you harrow bars handle compared to the usual 560mm flat bar width?
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Old 01-17-07, 12:08 AM   #6
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I found it easier to control the bike with the flat bars, but I put on road bars because I wanted to have multiple hand positions and because I like the stretched out feel with my hands on the hoods. I've found road bar handling to be very quick esp. at slow speeds: not out of control, but I do have to pay a lot more attention if I'm trying to navigate through narrow openings or ride on narrow paths. But this may also be due to the bar's narrowness. At speed, in a straight line, both bars feel the same. At speed, while turning, I turn more quickly with road bars.
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Old 01-17-07, 12:49 AM   #7
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I used bar ends to extend my reach and get me lower. It was a cheap and easy solution. Here's a picture of my setup.


I use this bike as a "portable roadie" for training rides. I find the extra reach on the bar ends to gets me in a pretty aero position. My seat is about 2 inches higher than my handlebars when I want to go fast.

This setup is not for your 230km ride though. For comfort, I would have my handlebars higher, then maybe use clip-on aerobars to give me different riding/resting position. It's all about comfort on the long rides.
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Old 01-17-07, 06:52 AM   #8
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Drop bar conversions are possible, if, as you say, you don't mind compromising the fold a bit.

Here's what I did with my Speed P8. Different pseudonym on the Dahon forum. You need to register with the forum to see the posts.

http://www.dahon.com/forum/index.php...c=3356&hl=drop

Here is somebody else's conversion http://www.dahon.com/forum/index.php...bar+conversion

Most, but not all, drop bars have a 26.0 mm clamp area; most flat bars have a 25.4 mm clamp area.

Consider that I've made the usual safety warnings about doing your own mods.
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Old 01-17-07, 07:06 AM   #9
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I love my trekking bars from Harris Cyclery, they're sometimes called butterfly bars.
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Old 01-17-07, 07:39 AM   #10
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Bullhorns with Oury grips have been my favorite lately.

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Old 01-17-07, 08:55 AM   #11
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http://www.thorusa.com/dahontuning.htm

I like the drop bars .... I find myself having the dropbars a little higher rhan the flat bars .... must be old fart syndrome ...

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Old 01-17-07, 10:22 AM   #12
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The question shouldn't be what do we prefer, but what do you prefer. That said....

FWIW I did a Century on my Swift, using Ergon grips and bar-ends. I'd recommend this over bar ends on a 20" bike for a few reasons, which may or may not apply to you:

1) Ergon grips are very comfortable and soak up some vibes.
2) Allowed me to use the existing grip shift (good quality, easy to use) and brakes (no need to buy a brifter)
3) Wider bar provides better stability.
4) Flat-bar + bar-ends are very similar to what you get with bullhorns.

Considering how cheap it is to get some bar-ends and good grips, I'd try that first and see if it works for you on a long ride. If you think it'll work, I'd just stick with it and retain the ability to fold.

Clip-on aero bars would be great for the long ride, but I'm not sure they are a good idea in terms of handling and control on 20" bikes....
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Old 01-17-07, 10:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
This setup is not for your 230km ride though. For comfort, I would have my handlebars higher... It's all about comfort on the long rides.
I agree. This is one of the biggest advantages of having an adjustable handlepost.
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Old 01-17-07, 10:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Considering how cheap it is to get some bar-ends and good grips, I'd try that first and see if it works for you on a long ride. If you think it'll work, I'd just stick with it and retain the ability to fold.
Bar ends are a good solution if your bars are fairly straight. My flat bars were slightly bent back, so putting on bar ends would mean the bar ends would flair out.
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Old 01-17-07, 12:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingonn
Anyone have any experience with dahons tt offering?

http://www.dahon.com/components/xp/prott.htm

I don't have these but I really like them. I wish I could justify the expense for this mod on my Downtube Mini.

After about 10 miles, the regular bars, with basically only one hand position, get to be uncomfortable... This set up looks like a very elegant solution without creating folding problems - assuming that one could maintain a quick release stem.
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Old 01-17-07, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris43
I don't have these but I really like them. I wish I could justify the expense for this mod on my Downtube Mini.

After about 10 miles, the regular bars, with basically only one hand position, get to be uncomfortable... This set up looks like a very elegant solution without creating folding problems - assuming that one could maintain a quick release stem.
Polaris:

I installed these on the Mini I got for my mother-in-law ($10 from Nashbar):

Then add bar-ends, wrap them in bar tape, and you pretty much have the same thing for about $25 total. I don't know how much these Dahon bars cost, but I'll bet it's quite a bit more. Of course, the bling factor isn't the same .
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Old 01-17-07, 04:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingonn
Anyone have any experience with dahons tt offering?

http://www.dahon.com/components/xp/prott.htm
I hope this isn't too much of a hi-jack... sorry to the OP in advance.

If one were to use this set up or one one like James has on his Swift fixie, is there an alternative to the brifter?

If I did spring for a brifter (I'm 90% sure this isn't going to happen but that 10% is really excited at the prospect), is there one that would work with the SA 8 speed hub?

This is an illness isn't it? I was reasonably happy with my bike and the upgrades I had done... until I went for a long ride and then saw these handle bars... Does my illness have a name?

Guitar players have a similar illness. It's called GAS - Guitar Aquisition Syndrome - one, or two, or three is never enough. I'm beginning to think that bikes and upgrades are pretty much the same affliction.
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Old 01-17-07, 04:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris43
...is there an alternative to the brifter?
A bar-end shifter?
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Old 01-17-07, 04:52 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the suggestions, links and pix. Really got the juices flowing. That drop bar Helios at http://www.thorusa.com/dahontuning.htm is something else.

I am leaning towards the bull horns partly because of the bling factor but also because I should be able to re-use my existing brake levers and hopefully just fit a rapid fire shifter. Alternatively go the more elegant STI route.

Will have to get the vernias out tonight and measure up. The largest bull horns I have seen so far are 440mm which is still 120mm less then my current flat bars, hopefully manageable though.


Thanks heaps
Derek
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Old 01-17-07, 05:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingonn
Thanks for all the suggestions, links and pix. Really got the juices flowing. That drop bar Helios at http://www.thorusa.com/dahontuning.htm is something else.

I am leaning towards the bull horns partly because of the bling factor but also because I should be able to re-use my existing brake levers and hopefully just fit a rapid fire shifter. Alternatively go the more elegant STI route.

Will have to get the vernias out tonight and measure up. The largest bull horns I have seen so far are 440mm which is still 120mm less then my current flat bars, hopefully manageable though.


Thanks heaps
Derek
Careful here... bull horns usually are 26mm diameter, flat bars 22.2mm. Flat bar lever etc will not work on bull horns.
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Old 01-17-07, 05:43 PM   #21
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Just did a quick and dirty circumference to diameter conversion. Stem diam is 25.4mm and tapers down to 22.4mm where the brakes and grip shift clamp on. Looks like they are a standard flat bar according to Sheldon's chart.

Road bars appear to be 26mm at the stem and 23.8mm else where. I will probably risk the stem difference but Brakes and Shifter are going to be a challenge. Might have to go the STI after all.
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Old 01-17-07, 08:00 PM   #22
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get some sti shifters on ebay ( thats actually where I got mine from ..) I think I paid 75 bucks for the pair, which aint bad ...

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Old 01-17-07, 08:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris43
This is an illness isn't it?
Yep


Quote:
I was reasonably happy with my bike and the upgrades I had done... until I went for a long ride and then saw these handle bars... Does my illness have a name?
Yes, you're a maximizer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mingonn
I am leaning towards the bull horns partly because of the bling factor but also because I should be able to re-use my existing brake levers and hopefully just fit a rapid fire shifter....
Bullhorns are "blingy?" Funny, I associate them with bike messengers, the very antithesis of bling. Now THIS is flashy:

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Old 01-17-07, 08:24 PM   #24
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shiny, very shiny, I like shiny :-)

Will keep an eye out on ebay for sti shifters, but they are alot more $$ then I expected.
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Old 01-18-07, 11:11 AM   #25
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patience is a must at ebay !!!
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